A School for the Chinese Martial Arts

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Through the design of a school for the Chinese martial arts, the issue arises of transposing a style of architecture to a time and place other than its original context. Accordingly, the distillation and transformation of principles of Chinese architecture will be a part of the creation of an architecture appropriate to a modern American city.

The goal of this thesis is to design a new school for training in kung fu, specifically the hung-fut system. This system teaches traditional kung fu, lion and dragon dancing, tai-chi, and sparring. Students of the Chinese system of martial arts known as kung fu should have a sense of the culture that produced the system of kung-fu. A building for the school must fulfill the requirements for the primary function of education as well as secondary functions such as administration and public performance. The architecture of the school should express the culture and history that created this system of martial arts. Therefore, principles of Chinese architecture, as well as relevant philosophies such as feng-shui, should be incorporated in the design of the school.

The site for this project is the corner of H and 6th Streets in Washington, DC's Chinatown, the building will attempt to establish a cultural focus in the historic district and help to re-knit the urban fabric, and to revitalize the neighborhood.